chapter 3 contamination food allergens and foodborne illness

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Physical ContaminantsSources:Common objects that get into foodMetal shavings from cans WoodFingernails StaplesBandages GlassJewelry DirtNaturally occurring objects such as fruit pits and bones3-2


Instructor NotesFood can become contaminated when objects get into it. It can also happen when natural objects are left in food, such as bones in a fish fillet.

Physical ContaminantsSymptoms:Mild to fatal injuries are possible Cuts, dental damage, and chokingBleeding and painPrevention:Purchase food from approved, reputable suppliersClosely inspect food receivedTake steps to prevent physical contamination, including practicing good personal hygiene



Chemical ContaminantsSources:Cleaners, sanitizers, polishes, machine lubricants, and pesticidesCertain types of kitchenware and equipment (items made from pewter, copper, zinc, and some types of painted pottery)Deodorizers, first-aid products, and health and beauty products (hand lotions, hairsprays, etc.)3-4

4Instructor NotesChemicals can contaminate food if they are used or stored the wrong way. Certain types of kitchenware and equipment can be risks for chemical contamination. These include items made from pewter, copper, zinc, and some types of painted pottery. These materials are not food grade and can contaminate food. This is especially true when acidic food, such as tomato sauce, is held in them, as shown on the slide.

Chemical ContaminantsSymptoms:Vary depending on chemical consumedMost illnesses occur within minutesVomiting and diarrhea are typicalIf an illness is suspected:Call the emergency number in your areaCall the Poison Control numberConsult the chemicals MSDS



Chemical ContaminantsPrevention:Only use chemicals approved for use in foodservice operationsPurchase chemicals from approved, reputable suppliersStore chemicals away from prep areas, food-storage areas, and service areasChemicals must be separated from food and food-contact surfaces by spacing and partitioningChemicals must NEVER be stored above food or food-contact surfacesUse chemicals for their intended use and follow manufacturers directions



Chemical ContaminantsPrevention:Only handle food with equipment and utensils approved for foodservice useMake sure the manufacturers labels on original chemical containers are readableKeep MSDS current, and make sure they are accessible to staff at all timesFollow the manufacturers directions and local regulatory requirements when throwing out chemicals3-7


The Deliberate Contamination of FoodGroups who may attempt to contaminate food:Terrorists or activistsDisgruntled current or former staffVendorsCompetitorsFDA defense tool:A.L.E.R.T.


8Instructor NotesPeople who could try to tamper with your food may use biological, chemical, or physical contaminants. They may even use radioactive materials. Attacks might occur anywhere in the food supply chain. But they are usually focused on a specific food item, process, or business.The best way to protect food is to make it as difficult as possible for someone to tamper with it. For this reason, a food defense program should deal with the points in your operation where food is at risk.The FDA has created a tool that can be used to develop a food defense program. It is based on the acronym A.L.E.R.T. It can be used to help you identify the points in your operation where food is at risk.

The Deliberate Contamination of FoodAssure Make sure products received are from safe sourcesLookMonitor the security of products in the facilityEmployeesKnow who is in your facilityReports Keep information related to food defense accessibleThreat Develop a plan for responding to suspicious activity or a threat to the operation


9Instructor NotesAssure Make sure that products you receive are from safe sources. Supervise product deliveries. Use approved suppliers who practice food defense. Request that delivery vehicles are locked or sealed.Look Monitor the security of products in the facility. Limit access to prep and storage areas. Locking storage areas is one way to do this. Create a system for handling damaged products. Store chemicals in a secure location. Train staff to spot food defense threats.Employees Know who is in your facility. Limit access to prep and storage areas. Identify all visitors, and verify credentials. Conduct background checks on staff.Reports Keep information related to food defense accessible: receiving logs, office files and documents, staff files, and random food defense self-inspections.Threat Identify what you will do and who you will contact if there is suspicious activity or a threat at your operation. Hold any product you suspect to be contaminated. Contact your regulatory authority immediately. Maintain an emergency contact list.

Food AllergensFood allergen:A protein in a food or ingredient some people are sensitive toThese proteins occur naturallyWhen an enough of an allergen is eaten, an allergic reaction can occur



Allergy SymptomsAllergy symptoms:NauseaWheezing or shortness of breathHives or itchy rashesSwelling of various parts of the body, including the face, eyes, hands, or feetVomiting and/or diarrheaAbdominal painAllergic reactions:Symptoms can become serious quicklyA severe reaction, called anaphylaxis, can lead to death


11Instructor NotesDepending on the person, an allergic reaction can happen just after the food is eaten or several hours later. This reaction could include some or all of the symptoms identified in the slide.Initially symptoms may be mild, but they can become serious quickly. In severe cases, anaphylaxisa severe allergic reaction that can lead to deathmay result. If a customer is having an allergic reaction to food, call the emergency number in your area and inform them of the allergic reaction.

Food AllergensThe Big Eight food allergens:MilkEggsFishCrustacean shellfish, including lobster, shrimp, and crabWheatSoyPeanutsTree nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, and pecans


12Instructor NotesWhile more than 160 food items can cause allergic reactions, just eight of those account for 90 percent of all reactions. These eight food items are known as the Big Eight. The slide shows the Big Eight food allergens.

Food AllergensKnow How to Read Food LabelsCheck food labels for allergens


Instructor NotesFood labels on the products that you purchase are an important tool to identify allergens in the operation. Federal law requires manufactured products containing one or more of the Big Eight allergens to clearly identify them on the ingredient label.The allergen may be included in the common name of the food, such as buttermilk, or it may be shown in parentheses after the ingredient. Often, allergens will be shown in a contains statement.13

Preventing Allergic ReactionsService staff:Describe menu items to guests and identify any allergens in the itemSuggest menu items without the allergensClearly mark the guests order for kitchen and service staffDeliver food separately to prevent cross-contact


14Instructor NotesYour staff should be able to tell customers about menu items that contain potential allergens. At minimum, have one person available per shift to answer customers questions about menu items. When customers say they have a food allergy, your staff should take it seriously.Tell customers how the item is prepared. Sauces, marinades, and garnishes often contain allergens. For example, peanut butter is sometimes used as a thickener in sauces or marinades. This information is critical to a customer with a peanut allergy.Tell customers if the food they are allergic to is in the menu item. Identify any secret ingredients. For example, your operation may have a house specialty that includes an allergen. Suggest menu items that do not contain the food that the customer is allergic to. Clearly mark or otherwise indicate the order for the guest with the identified food allergy. This is done to inform the kitchen staff of the guests food allergy.Confirm the allergen special order with the kitchen staff when picking up the food. Make sure no garnishes or other items containing the allergen touch the plate. Food should be hand-delivered to guests with allergies. Delivering food separately from the other food delivered to a table will help prevent contact with food allergens.

Preventing Allergic ReactionsKitchen staff:Avoid cross-contact Do NOT cook different types of food in the same fryer oilDo NOT put food on surfaces that have touched allergens


15Instructor NotesStaff must make sure that allergens are not transferred from food containing an allergen to the food served to the customer. This is called cross-contact. Cooking different types of food in the same fryer oil can cause cross-contact. In the photo on the slide, shrimp allergens could be transferred to the chicken being fried in the same oil.Putting food on surfaces that have touched allergens can cause cross-contact. For example, putting chocolate chip cookies on the same parchment paper that was used for peanut butter cookies can transfer some of the peanut allergen.

Preventing Allergic ReactionsKitchen staff:Avoid cross-contact Check recipes and ingredient labelsWash, rinse, and sanitize cookware, utensils, and equipment before preparing an allergen special orderMake sure the allergen doesnt touch anything for customers with food allergies (food, beverages, utensils, etc.)Wash your hands and change gloves before prepping foodLabel food packaged on-site for retail use


16Instructor NotesCheck recipes and ingredient labels to confirm that the allergen is not present. Wash, rinse, and sanitize cookware, utensils, and equipment before prepping food, as shown in the photo at left. This includes food-prep surfaces. Some operations use a separate set of cooking utensils just for allergen special orders. Make sure the allergen does not touch anything for customers with food allergies, including food, beverages, utensils, equipment, and gloves. Wash your hands and change gloves before prepping food. Use separate fryers and cooking oils when frying food for customers with food allergies. Label food packaged on-site for retail sale. Name all major allergens on the label and follow any additional labeling requirements.